Succeeding Online Starts with Keyword Research
By Kyle Patterson
Today we are talking about keyword research. If you don’t have a website yet, this will help you lay the groundwork for content that gets discovered online. If you do have a website, not to worry, there may be some adjustments you can make to help you take your traffic and conversions to the next level.
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a word, phrase and search query that users are typing into major search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. As users type these phrases into the search engine, pages and pages of results show up and users are given the choice in regards to what website they want to visit and learn more about. As a small business owner or non-profit leader you want your organization to show up in these search results. Whether you’re selling soap, silverware or eye shadow, you can help potential customers find you by optimizing your website with these keyword phrases and search queries. This is called search engine optimization. Additionally you can bid to have these types of search queries sent to your website but we can get into that later.
Optimizing Your Site
Optimizing your site starts with research. You may carry a number of products or services, so you need to figure out:
- What phrases people are searching for.
- What your competition is doing.
- How to land your site in the first page of results.
To start you need to look at what type of search volume currently exists in the market you are looking to reach. Google’s free Keyword Planner is a good place to start. This free tool will help you find current Google search volume on specific keywords that you would like to test. You can narrow the search for specific markets and get new ideas from Google based on your industry and geography.
Once you find at least 5 - 10 keywords that have a fair amount of search activity, you need to see where you currently stand on these keywords if you currently have a website. You also want to see what type of competition exists for the keywords you would like to rank for. If you’re not showing up on the first page of results there are strategies that can help you get there. So don’t be discouraged by what I am about to say next-- if you’re not on the first page you’re not being seen. And really to be totally honest you need to be in the top 3 results to really get people to your website. But again, not to worry. It is good to know where you stand right now though. To get an accurate view of this you really need to check out a couple of resources including WooRank or Moz. These tools will help you get an accurate assessment of your position for your site. These tools do cost money and take time to get accurate and most importantly actionable steps to take on your site. Additional you can hire a firm like ours to do this leg work for you as well as turn the data you get back into actionable strategies to increase your keyword utilization.
I also want to mention another tool that can help you assess your competitor's site and keyword strategies they are ranking for: Spyfu or SEMrush (affiliate link). Both of these tools will assess competitor sites and give you information on how their sites are ranking in search engines. This can be helpful to know as you look to outrank your competitors for the top spots in search. As I mentioned before, you want to aim for the top three spots.
Well this should keep you busy until our next post. Until then.
(P.S. I am available to consult with companies or non-profits needing help succeeding online. Contact me here.)
Kyle Patterson is President of Thrive Media Group, an online marketing firm and Google partner. He is also the founder of UNITE, a collective impact organization functioning as a chamber of commerce for Christian leaders.